Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Where to Go in a Methodist Church Split?

 

Many of you have heard of the proposal for a formal separation of the United Methodist Church into a conservative and a liberal church. On one hand, our bishops and bureaucracy are strongly liberal. But despite being a mainline church, American Methodism has a plurality of conservative, traditionalist members, and there’s a strong evangelical current. Moreover, through our missionary work, we have grown strongly overseas, especially in Africa, and these members are overwhelmingly conservative. Last year, the number of conservative delegates grew to an outright majority and were able to pass the Traditional Plan, which re-enforced existing discipline for clergy violating rules against homosexual practice or performing same-sex marriages.

So, with the discipline clear and with a growing conservative majority, is all well for my side? It seems not. Acknowledging the liberal hold on the institutions and the episcopacy, a proposal has been put forward that anticipates the formation of a new traditional Methodist denomination and would allow individual congregations or whole conferences to vote to separate from the UMC and join the new church. There would be a $25 million payment to the new denomination. I haven’t seen anything about the ownership of local church property, but I suspect congregations would keep those. The property fights that have characterized recent splits in other denominations have been blessedly absent in our discussions.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Essence of Conservatism from Sir Roger Scruton

 

I’m not part of the Quote of the Day group, so I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes by posting this, but when I got this in my feed this morning I knew it had to be disseminated.

“Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created. This is especially true of the good things that come to us as collective assets: peace, freedom, law, civility, public spirit, the security of property and family life, in all of which we depend on the cooperation of others while having no means singlehandedly to obtain it. In respect of such things, the work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating; the work of creation slow, laborious and dull. That is one of the lessons of the twentieth century. It is also one reason why conservatives suffer such a disadvantage when it comes to public opinion. Their position is true but boring, that of their opponents exciting but false.” — Sir Roger Scruton 

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Make Your Life Matter

 

“Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.” — Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, the brilliant writer and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, never lost his will to fight for truth. In part, he wrote to inspire people to embrace their lives, since he knew only too well how short and fragile life could be.

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Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, has an article at National Catholic Register on the persecution of Christians in Africa. This is a subject that does not receive much coverage from the leftist press – they seem more concerned about “islamophobia” – whatever that is, than the killing of Christians. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christianity Today Supports Trump’s Impeachment: ‘Therefore, What?’

 

I put these thoughts together after receiving a text from a Christian friend. Sorry, it’s a bit long. I’m still working through my ideas. Interested in people’s responses.


As 2019 came to a close, many in the Christian evangelical community were rattled by the publication of an editorial in Christianity Today in which the author argues that Donald Trump should be both impeached and removed from office and chastises evangelicals who continue to support him: “Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency,” the author chides.

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara talks with Montse Alvarado, Vice President & Executive Director of the Becket Fund, about the implications of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court school choice case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the pervasiveness of 19th-century, anti-Catholic Blaine amendments across the country, and some of Becket’s legal victories in high-profile religious […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Hate, that is. And we ought to resist its use in all but those circumstances in which it names an operative motive for human action with something like precision.  More

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It’s Epiphany in Augsburg and that means …well, this year it means that the MEHR Conference hosted by the Augsburg House of Prayer will be filling the Augsburg Convention Center with 12,000 Catholics, Evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox and Messianic Jews who gather for four days of corporate worship and prayer. For those who are unfamiliar with […]

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Usually when we see the word “Jewish” in a newspaper headline, you can be sure it involves violent anti-Semitism. Not this time: https://www.foxnews.com/us/jews-talmud-anti-semitic-attacks-meadowlands More

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Real conservatism is about the things we love, not reacting to what makes us afraid. Conservatives need to break the false narrative that we are determined by nostalgia and a hatred of change. Willam F. Buckley, the ever fading icon of the American right, famously wrote of Conservatism that “It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, […]

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It is a peculiarity of Christianity that our end is our beginning. “It is the last hour”, the disciple John says. Since the first year following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, Christians have been waiting for His glorious return. The “end times” began in Year 1 Anno Domini and have continued to the present day.  More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Not a Mask

 

I’m tired but can’t sleep; an experience everyone has at some point. But not everyone fears to close one’s eyes for what thoughts and dreams will rush into the void of sensation. Not everyone screams and mutters without making a sound in a familiar internal battle to “just shut up and go to sleep.”

Mental illnesses are as varied as personalities. We speak of symptoms and causes generally, as with diseases and purely physical ailments, because there is a utility in generalizations and playing the odds. But depression, crippling anxiety, compulsions, hallucinations, and other psychological oddities are not like a rash that looks the same on anyone.

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It’s much less distressing to say something stupid here than it is in public. If I say something just too embarrassing I can just go away for a while, nobody every calls me or sends me a message – that’s not a whine, by the way. I am an introvert. Crowds are exhausting. But some […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The great philosopher Immanuel Kant has a strategy for making sure our actions are consistent with moral law. It’s called the Categorical Imperative (CI). The moral law (ML) Kant is talking about is universal: A moral law has no exceptions. So the first version of the CI Kant gives us is that the justifications for […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Tsze-kung asked about government. The Master said, “The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.” Tsze-kung said, “If it cannot be helped, and one of these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be foregone first?” “The […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Merry Christmas

 

The Magnificat (Latin for “[My soul] magnifies [the Lord]”) is a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary, the Canticle of Mary and, in the Byzantine tradition, the Ode of the Theotokos. It is traditionally incorporated into the liturgical services of the Catholic Church (at vespers) and of the Eastern Orthodox churches (at the morning services). It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn. Its name comes from the incipit of the Latin version of the canticle’s text. The Magnificat, taken from Luke’s Gospel -1:46-55

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.

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I saw this story about a youngster from the Kitsap Peninsula on my KOMO Web site this morning. For a few years, this 10-year-old boy has been collecting toys for children who are in Seattle Children’s Hospital over the Christmas holidays. A Little Child shall lead them, indeed. More

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Christmas plays havok with our sense of time. Here we are celebrating a birth that occurred thousands of years ago like it just happened. Theologian Hans Urs Van Balthasar once wrote that “Christmas is not an event within history but is rather the invasion of time by eternity.” “Invasion of time” sounds about right when […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Something Beautiful, and Ukrainian, for Christmas

 

Less than a year ago, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was granted Independence from the main body of Russian Orthodoxy. There is now an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with its own hierarchy, free of the Russian yoke.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Book Review: The Holy Angels

 

Our night nursery was lit by the dawn, and I saw a group of angels standing, as if chatting, around my young brother’s bed. I was aware of this, although I could not hear their voices… I then became aware that at the foot of my own bed stood a similar celestial creature… I was but a child when I saw my guardian angel. As time passed I still sporadically remembered and acknowledged his presence, but mostly, I ignored him. Paradoxically, it was evil and distress that brought me up short and cleared my vision…

One day, in looking through a collection of old icons, I came across one done in three panels representing the guardian angel; in the middle panel, he is defending his sleeping charge from bad dreams. Later, when plagued once more by one of my most fearsome of nightmares, upon waking I suddenly remembered the icon, and with overpowering clarity I recollected that as a child I had seen my guardian angel. (pp. 293-294)

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